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this time, to move the Bookseller to publish them together in a distinct Volume; in hopes, that the Politeness and Beauty peculiar to Mr. Addison's Writings would make their way to persons of a superior Character and a more liberal Education; and, that as they come from the hands of a Layman, they may be the more readily receiv'd and consider'd by young Gentlemen, as a proper Manual of Religios.
Our modern Sceptics and Infidels are great Pretenders to Reason and Philosophy, and are willing to have it thought that none who are really possess'd of those Talents, can easily afsent to the Truth of Chriflianity. But it falls out very unfortunately for them and their Cause, that those persons within our own memory, who are: confess’d to have been the most perfect Reasoners and Philosophers: of: theit: time, are also known to: have been firm Believers, and they; Layinen; I mean Mr. Boyle, Mr. Lock, Sir ISAAC
NEWTON, and Mr. ADDISON: who, modestly speaking, were as good Thinkers and Reasoners, as the best among the Sceptics and Infidels at this day. Some of them might have their particular Opinions about this or that point in Christianity, which will be the case as long as men are men; but the thing here infisted on, is, That they were accurate Reasoners and at the same time firm Believers.
Mr. BOYLE, the most exact Searcher into the Works of Nature that any Age has known, and who saw Atheism and Infidelity beginning to thew themselves in the loose and voluptuous reign of King Charles the Second, pursu'd his Philosophical Inquiries with Religious Views, to establish the minds of men in a firm belief and thorow sense of the infinite Power and Wisdom of the great Creator.
This account we have from Dr.Burnet. one who was intimately acquainted with him, and preach'd his
funeral Sermon: It appear'd to thofe Life, 'who convers'd with him in his p. 22. Inquiries into Nature, that his ' main design in that (on which as ! he had his own eye most conftant• ly, so he took care to put others
often in mind of it) was to raise in ' himself and others, vafter thoughts
of the Greatness and Glory, and of
the Wisdom and Goodness of God. · This was so deep in his thoughts,
that he concludes the Article of his ? Will, which relates to that Illu• ftrious Body, the Royal Society, in ''these Words: wishing them a happy
success in their laudable Attempts, iu
discover the true nature of the Works • of God; and praying that they and · all other Searchers into Physical · Truths, may cordially refer their At"tainments to the Glory of the great • Author of Nature, and to the Com• fort of Mankind. The same person also speaks thus of him, 'He had
the profoundest Veneration for the great God of Heaven and Earth,
• that ever I observ'd in any person. • The very name of GOD was never
mention'd by him without a Pause 6 and a visible Stop in his Discourse. . And, of the strictness and exemplariness of the whole course of his life, he says, 'I might here challenge lbid. 6 the whole Tribe of Libertines, p.9.
to come and view the Usefulness, as. • well as the Excellence of the Chri• ftian Religion, in a Life that was *, intirely dedicated to it. : Against the Atheists, he wrote his
Free Enquiry into the receivid Notion of Nature (to confute the pernicious Principle of afcribing Effects to Nature, which are only produced by the infinite Power and Wisdom of God;) and also his Essay about final Causes of things Natural, to Thew that all things in nature were made and contriv'd with great order, and every thing for its proper End and Use, by an all-wise Creator.
Against the Deists, he wrote a Treatise of Things above Reason; in which
he makes it appear that several things which we judge to be contrary to Reafon, because above the reach of our Understanding, are not therefore to be thought unreafonable, because we cannot comprehend them, since they may be apparently reasonable to a greater and more comprehensive Understand ing, And he wrote another Treatise, to show the Possibility of the Refurrection of the fame. Body.
The Veneration he had for the Holy Scriptures, appears not only from his studying them with great Exactness, and exhorting others to do the fame; but more particularly from a distinct Treatise which he wrote, on purpose to defend the Scripture-Stile, and to answer all the objections which Profane and Irreligious persons have made against it. And speaking of Morality confider'd as a Rule of Life, Life, he says, 'I have formerly taken p. 17. ' pains to peruse Books of Mo
rality; yet since they have only a • power to persuade, but not to com